And not in a creepy mind control way. At least I hope not. But in a world changing everyone is in on it way. So if that sounds like a world you'd like to partake in, then read on.
If you're like me, then you spend many a time programming in your command station at home or coffee shop. That's what we call it anyhow. You might code a few small things every now and then. A game here. A parser there. But maybe that's as far as it's ever gotten. Maybe you never saw the huge potential that you have in the tips of your fingers as you type vigorously away another for loop. Well I'm here to tell you, that you can indeed tap into this and you can indeed build something big. Something bigger than yourself. Something that can grow with the many people around the world and reach farther than you thought possible.
You just have to think big. Like really big. If you aim very low, and miss the mark, you didn't get very far. If you aim very high however, and miss the mark, you could still be relatively very high. If you want to plant a tree, you either do, or you don't. If you want to plant 100 trees, and you plant 50, that's still pretty good. And that same analogy can be used for programming.
think big, fall big
Pick a problem, please
If you look around, there are plenty of societal issues out and about causing varying levels of chaos in our world. To name a few examples. There are stray dogs wandering the streets, pollution piling up, people without homes, etc. And for the most part, we don't really know what to do about such things. Or if we do, we might just pick a quick and simple solution. If there's a stray dog, we call animal control to handle this scenario for us. If there's pollution on the street, we either pick up a piece or two, or we ignore it. And if there are people without homes, we give them a dollar or two.
But big problems, require big solutions. Maybe one person can't make a difference. But maybe a million people can. At least, a bigger difference. But for that, you need to think a little wider. With more perspective, if you will. Instead of thinking with a 1 to 1 mentality, this is when the 1 to many mentality kicks in.
Where technology meets society
The big craze nowadays are apps that make you wander the city, looking for imaginary pixels, in exchange for imaginary points. And while not the best use of life and/or time, it is an intriguing idea. Walking data collection devices, IE, people, can do amazing things if steered correctly. This isn't anything new however.
We've been doing this for the past decade for the most part, we just didn't realize it. We open Yelp and find a place to eat several times per week. We get to a location 'A' and take a picture 'X' and upload it on day 'Y'. And we do this unconsciously many times a day for many different events in our lives.
This is where societal programming comes in.
The future is now
Sounds corny, I know. But we've gotten to a pretty decent place in our technological world where we can communicate with each other from all facets of the globe. We can be instantly notified of events in real time. We can transmit emotion through images and icons. And we can store the world's knowledge in tiny electrical signals in our pockets. The only thing that we're missing is the ideas to propel us forward. Simple ideas that can grow with the number of people using them. I can propose many ideas. And I will in some other post. But for now, I leave that task to you.
It is this shared consciousness that can help transform the world. This instant communication. These rudimentary ideas that sound so simple, yet can have wide reaching effects. So next time you step outside, keep your eyes open for opportunities to help. I assure you, they are everywhere. And you're tiny idea could be the one that sparks something big. Something so big that it transforms the world. Or at least, at a minimum, it keeps litter off of your street corner.
Walter Guevara is a software engineer, startup founder and currently teaches programming for a coding bootcamp. He is currently building things that don't yet exist.
New articles published each week. Sign up for my newsletter and stay up to date.